Devi Suktam, Durga Saptashati & Navaratri

Starting this article with a clarification for readers’ benefit differentiation between the Devi Suktam or Vaak Suktam or Vaagambhrini Sukta of Rigveda and that we often confuse with the Devi Suktam of Durga Saptashati of Markandeya Purana. The Article is about the latter i.e. Devi Suktam of Durga Saptashati of Markandeya Purana.

Rigvediya Devi Suktam or Vak Suktam (Vaagambhirini Suktam), is the oldest sukta dedicated to Universal Mother Divine. A Hymn of 8 verses (mantras) from Rig Veda. It is the 125th sukta in the 10th mandala of the Rig Veda. This is much older to the Markandeya purana and also believed to pre-date even Tridevi concept (three principal female Deities – Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati). One of the unique feature of Rigvediya Devi Suktam is that the suktas (or the hymns) are not composed by Poet in praise of Mother Divine, but her own elucidation of Her Glory (called Atmastuti in Samskrutam). Texts further indicate that Rigvediya Devi Suktam was composed and sung by the Rishika Vaak Ambhrini, in a state of supreme bliss upon uniting with Mother Divine – Vaak, which means Primordial sound of Speech. Thus it is considered as a composition of the Mother Goddess in Glory of Herself. (Will write about this after thorough reading of the scripture and consulting experts of the Text) Please note that many websites wrongly describe the History attributing it to Rishika Vaagambhrigi breaking into a dance after a realization that her life originated from a single source of infinite consciousness that had no perceptable form and it was omnipresent. It is also wrong attributed to the superlative praising the ultimate source of consciousness Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu whereas it is Rigvediya Devi Suktam (Vaagambhrigi Suktam) that has this history.

One of the chants that is prevalent during Navaratris is the Tantroktam Devi Suktam – the Slokas from 9 through 82, in the 5th Chapter of Durga Saptashati, which is a part of Devi Mahatmyam. More popular are the 21 verses (6 to 26) that begins with “ya devi sarva bhuteshu‘. Tantroktam Devi Suktam is a part of Markandeya Purana.

Pic Courtesy: By ShotgunMavericks – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Namo Devyai Mahadevyai Shivayai Satatam Namaha
Namaha Prakrityai Bhadrayai Niyataah Pranataah Sma Taam |1|

Roudrayai Namo Nityayi Gouryayai Dhatrayai Namo Namaha |
Jyothsnayayai Chendurupinyayai Sukhayayai Satatam Namaha |2|

Kalyannyai Pranatam Vridhyayai Sidhyayai Kurmo Namo Namah |
Nairutyayai Bhybritaam Lakshmyai Sharvanyayai Tey Namo Namah |3|

Durgayai Durgapaaraayai, Saaraayai Sarvakaarine |
Khyatyai Tadhiva Krishnayai Dhumrayai Satatam Namaha |4|

Ati Soumyati Roudrayai, Nataastastastyai Namo Namaha |
Namo Jagatpratishtayai, Devyayai Krityayai Namo Namah |5|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Vishnumaayeti Shabditaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |6|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Chetanety-Abhidhiiyate |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |7|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Buddhi-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |8|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Nidra-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |9|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Kssudhaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |10|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Chaayaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |11|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Shakti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |12|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Trshnnaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |13|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Kshaanti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |14|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Jaati-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |15|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Lajjaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |16|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Shaanti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |17|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Shraddhaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |18|

Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Kaanti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |19|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Lakshmii-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |20|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Vrtti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |21|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Smrti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |22|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Dayaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |23|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Tushtti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |24|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Maatr-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |25|

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Bhraanti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |26|

Indriyaannaam-Adhisstthaatrii Bhutaanaam Ca-Akhilessu |
Yaa Bhuutessu Satatam Tasyai Vyaapti-Devyai Namo Namah |27|

Citi-Ruupenna Yaa Krtsnam-Etad-Vyaapya Sthitaa Jagat |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah |28|

Maa Durga

Significance of the Chant

As Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji, Spiritual Guru and Founder of The Art of Living Foundation says, “The chant shows the deeper facets of the Devi which are often missed. It represents the Devi’s presence across universe and time. With Devi’s presence in the things, people, and situations we dislike and like both, the chant is meant to evoke irrevocable equanimity in a devotee. Let us understand how the Devi is present everywhere and at all times.

Photograph: Gurudev in Yagyashala, Art of Living, Bengaluru Ashram – 25th September 2022

Omnipresent: Devi is present as consciousness in everyone. There is no place where the Devi is not present.
In all forms: Nature and its distortions are all forms of the Devi. Beauty, peace are all forms of the Devi. Even if you get angry, that too is the Devi. If you fight, that too is the Devi.
Ancient & new: Every moment is alive with consciousness. Our consciousness is ‘Nith nutan’ ancient and new at the same time. Objects are either old or new, but in nature you will find the old and the new existing together. The sun is old and new too. A river has fresh water flowing in it, every moment but yet is very old. In the same way, human life is very ancient but it is new at the same time. Your mind is the same.

Happy Navaratri to you & all your near ones. May Nava Durgas bestow Her choicest blessings on you.

Jai Mata Di

Legend of Symantaka Mani & Ganesh Chaturthi Connection

Muni Narada on his rounds around the Universe arrived in Dwaraka to meet Bhagwan Krishna and sang His Glory. It was Ganesha Chaturthi and Narada tells Krishna about significance of the day and why no one should see the moon on that day.

Narada visits Krishna
Pic Source: http://bhagavatham.blogspot.com/2012/12/65-bhagavatha-narada-visits-krishna.html

Curse of the Moon & Mithya Dosha

It was late night and Ganesha was returning to Kailasa after a sumptuous feast hosted by Kubera, the God of Riches and considered the richest among all Gods.

Kubera – God of Wealth
Pic Source and for more details : https://www.templepurohit.com/hindu-gods-and-deities/lord-kubera-hindu-gods-and-deities/

Ganesha had eaten a lot of his favourite sweet, the Modakas and was returning on his Vahana (mount), Mooshika (Mouse). It was a Pournami (Full moon night) and the moon shone in the night in his resplendest best – in spotless white. Ganesha and his mouse were trudging along and suddenly a snake appeared in their path. Since mouse is considered prey of snakes, it was frightened and rushed aside for safety. Ganesha falls down on to the Ground and his stomach broke open, and all the modakas he had eaten rolled out. Ganesha stuffed all the Modakas back, picked the snakes and tied it around the stomach to pack it in. Embarrassingly He looked for his vahana, mouse and saw Moon laughing at His predicament. The moon, having witnessed the entire episode could not control his laughter which made Ganesha seethe in anger. He broke one of His tusks and flung it at the moon creating a crater on it and curses that he would never be a complete sphere any more and keeps getting disfigured. Thus we find the moon has a crater which we can see even from the Earth and it waxes and wanes every fortnight. He also curses that anyone who sees the Moon will attract Mithya Dosha (defamation by false accusations) Moon becomes repentant and pleads with Ganesh to redeem him from the curse. Ganesha says, the curse once delivered cannot be retrieved but reduce the effects. He then says no one should see the moon on on Ganesh Chaturthi.

Bhagwan Krishna, the dutiful King that He was, immediately makes a proclamation to this effect and lets all His subjects know the ill-effects of seeing the moon. Narada Muni then leaves the place and goes back to Vaikunta. Unfortunately for Krishna, while milking Gomata, He sees reflection of the moon in the Milk bowl. No one is spared of the curse and has to undergo the consequences, even if it were Bhagwan Krishna.

The Legend of Symantaka ManiMarriage of Krishna & Satyabhama

Prasenjit, nobleman of of Yadava Kula (same as Bhagwan Krishna) and Satrajit were brothers. Prasenjit also was uncle of Satyabhama, wife of Bhagwan Krishna. Satrajit was a devotee of Surya (Sun God). Pleased with his unwavering Devotion, Surya gifted Satrajit a ruby jewel called Syamantak Mani. It belonged originally to Surya, who wore it around his neck. It was said that whichever land possessed this jewel would never encounter any calamities such as droughts, floods, earthquakes or famines, and would always be full of prosperity and plenitude. Wherever the jewel remained, it would produce for the keeper eight bhāras (an ancient measure of weight and translating about ~77 kgs) of gold daily. It was also the source of the brilliant appearance of Surya.

Satrajit was walking along the sea shore, praying ardently, when Surya appeared before him. Seeing Him fiery form, Satrajit asked him to appear in a less blinding form, so that he could see him clearly. Surya took Syamantaka mani off his neck, and Satrajit saw him an ordinary looking dwarf form of Surya When Surya offered him a boon, and he asked for the jewel which Surya promptly gifts him as a boon.

Surya gifting Syamantaka Mani to Satrajit
Pic Source: https://www.sunosunati.com/story/syamantak-mani-ki-katha

Satrajit threaded Syamanta Mani and wearing it around his neck returned to Dvaraka. He was dazzling in such splendour that subjects there mistook him for Surya. Krishna requested him to present the jewel to Ugrasena, the supreme leader of the Yadavas and rightfully and more entitled as a King, but Satrajit refuses to do so and presents it to Prasenjit instead.

Once, Prasenjit went to the jungle for hunting wearing the jewel and a lion killed Prasenjit and took away the jewel. This lion in turn was confronted by Jambavan (Devotee of Shri Rama and King of bears). Jambavan finally wins the fight with the lion and takes away the Syamantaka Mani.

When Prasenjit did not return from the jungle his brother Satrajit was worried and there was a grapevine among people that Shri Krishna was eyeing the Symantaka Mani and accused Krishna of killing Prasenjit for stealing the jewel. To prove his innocence, Shri Krishna went to the jungle. Krishna traces the trail and finds Prasenjit’s body with tell tale signs of being killed by Lion and then follows the trail of Lion and finds another spot where Lion lies dead. He further follows the trail and comes at the door of Jambavan’s cave. He peeps into find children of Jambavan playing with the Symantaka Mani. Jambvan confronts Krishna and both fight for 28 days after which Jambvan was defeated. He then realised that Krishna was his Ishta Bhagwan Shri Rama’s form and penitently gives Krishna the jewel and also his daughter Jambavati in marriage.

Jambavan returning the Syamantaka Mani and Offering Satyabhama as Krishna’s wife
Picture Source: http://sarayutoayodhya.blogspot.com/2014/03/syamantaka-mani.html

Krishna returns to Dwaraka and hands the jewel over to Satrajit, who also regrets making false accusation. He offers Krishna the Symantaka Mani and also his daughter Satyabhama in marriage. Krishna accepted Satyabhama as His wife but did not accept the jewel. Krishna washed the stain off His reputation.

Symantaka Mani (Believed to be Kohinoor now – first looted by Allaudin Khilji & then stolen by British)

This story goes on to prove that irrespective of who you are, you have to bear consequences of actions that you perform. Even if you are Shri Krishna who was falsely accused of Murder and theft.

Sighting of Moon on Ganesh Chaturthi – Remedy

If you accidentally (or deliberately) see the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi, chant the following mantra

Simhah Prasenamavadhitsimho Jambavata Hatah।
Sukumaraka Marodistava Hyesha Syamantakah॥

Then read/listen to the Symantaka Mani Story (as elucidated above) and worship Shri Ganesha sincerely. He will bless you and ensure that you do not become of victim of Mithya Dosha

Note: The Story is compiled from various sources (both online and offline). All credits to original authors for the content and also for the pictures used in this article.

One of the critical source was this Kannada song – a legendary song sung by Shri PB Srinivas and a a must play in Karnataka and Kannadiga homes and Pandals on Ganesh Chaturthi. Listening to this song is a remedy from Mithya Dosha due to sighting of moon on Ganesh Chaturthi

Jai Ganesha

Grace & its ways

I had written this down in response to a query (it was more a challenge) on twitter. Thought it is a good piece that is worth having it on this site with some additional experiences and learning gained ever since I tweeted them 4 years ago. By no means I claim this to be the ideal learning nor even as a prescription, it is just a scrawl of an avid Jigyaasu. I am blessed to be guided on this path, not just by way of various courses and discourses but learning from the Enlightened Master, Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living, whose unmatchable persona embodies all these virtues that is worthy of emulation.

PC: Peter Hershey (Unsplash)

Grace as explained by Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar :
When you receive a lot without making efforts for it, then it is said that you are blessed with anugraha. Usually you work hard at your job and then receive your salary. So you say, ‘I have earned my money’. But if someone gives you a gift, you do not say, ‘I have earned these gifts’. Can something that is earned be called a gift? No. You receive gifts without any efforts. So when you receive a great gift or an award that you feel you did not deserve, then that is called anugraha. When we receive something that we are not deserving of, or which exceeds our capabilities, then that is what is called Grace. When we see that in our life, we have received far more than what we deserve or are capable of, then gratitude dawns in us. We become thankful, complaints disappear and abundance grows.

My two pennies based on experience, generally reproduction of my tweets that were as explanation to a query. The tweet thread is here (at this time.)

Guru’s Grace & Blessings on His/Her Shishya(s) is infinite & is like a blank cheque that we can encash, provided we write our name on it in right (worthy) manner

Shishyas should satisfy two conditions:
1) Our Attitude and Mindset should be like an empty cup (if we think we are already full, then nothing can be poured in the cup)
2) Cup should be in right orientation. Empty cup face down cannot receive anything

Tumbler in Right Direction can accept Water Poured
Tumbler upside down can only mess the place

Grace can/will work only when used in Right Direction. So we as Shishya should have that viveka to ensure it is right. (If door opens inwards and you apply force in the wrong direction you shut it). Even the best of Guru’s Grace cannot work when your work is for wrong purpose

Applying efforts the wrong way
PC: Adobe Stock Photo

Guru’s grace though Free, it is not a Gift. Shishyas should have Arhata (deserving), Viveka (to use it for right reasons), know the Sannivesha (Context) and most importantly Sharanagati (state of surrender). The moment we think we are the Doers, we are DOOMED (Click on the link what “We are not the Doers mean)

As I experienced in various Paramparas, one important aspect they propagate is to refrain from Daiva/Guru Ninda (Defaming God/Guru) or anyone for that matter failing which the Good Karmic balance drastically reduces.

Wishing you loads of Divine, Guru and Elders’ Grace